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EuroTrash Colombian Thursday!

The weather and controversy took hold of the Giro d’Italia again this week and the Colombians swapped the pink jersey. All the Giro news, views and video, plus reports from the Bayern Rundfahrt and the Balois Belgium Tour. Also there is good and bad news from the US road champs in a packed EuroTrash Thursday.

TOP STORY: Neutralised or Not Neutralised?
The story of stage 16 and the descent of the Stelvio will run and run for a very long time. The confusion over whether or not the race was neutralised has led to arguments on both sides and even the call for the race organiser Mauro Vegni to resign over the affair.

The announcement on race radio was understood by some to be saying the race was neutralised, by others it was just advice. Then there was a Tweet saying it was neutralised, but then it disappeared and let’s face it a tweet is hardly the way to tell people of something so important. Then there was the motorbike with a red flag, Marco Velo was on the moto and he said that Quintana and the group had passed him. The UCI, after looking at all the evidence, have said that the result stands and no further action would be taken.

On the other hand the riders who were in the group have had their say:
Nairo Quintana: “It makes me laugh, because in reality everyone here and everyone watching on TV knows what happened. I didn’t go down in a car or on a motorbike. I came down on a bike, on the same roads as everyone else. A few riders refused to shake my hand this morning, but there are always people who cannot accept defeat, and many others, who ride for the teams whose directors sportifs are now arguing, came to congratulate me on my win. They know what really happened.”

Pierre Rolland: “With all the racing capes and wet weather clothing, my radio was coming in and out all day long, so to pass on information in those conditions is almost impossible.” And the red flag? “No, I didn’t see because I was busy enough trying to figure out my own trajectory on slippery roads.”

Ryder Herjedal: “Tell me what a neutralised descent is? Does everyone just stop? If you’re serious about the race and especially if you’re in the pink jersey, you should have been at the head of affairs. End of story. I just followed the guys that were ahead of me on the GC. I just rode the descent. You’re just trying to stay safe and get through it.”

Gorka Izaguirre: “I crossed the top of the Stelvio roughly in the middle of the group, I started to go down and down, I was very cold, it was snowing and all were shivering. Quintana came over the summit in front, and no organization had neutralized anything nor did they tell us anything.”

One thing is for sure and that was the performance of Nairo Quintana, he went up the final climb putting time into everyone. There are still three hard stages to come and they can only bring more excitement.

Not the first time there has been snow on the Stelvio:

Giro d’Italia 2014
It was looking like the weather would affect Stage 16 as snow was forecast for all three of the mountain passes: the Gavia, the Stelvio and the new climb of the Val Martello/Matelltal. The snow was bad on the first two climbs and the race was subdued, although Dario Cataldo (Sky) made a very bold attempt to stay away after the Cima Coppi summit of the Stelvio. There was some talk of the descent of the Stelvio being neutralised, it didn’t happen and Cataldo dropped like a stone to the valley below and so did a dangerous group including: Nairo Quintana (Movistar), Pierre Rolland (Europcar) and Ryder Hesjedal (Garmin-Sharp). They caught and dropped Cataldo and then Quintana powered his way to stage victory, the young rider’s jersey and more importantly the pink jersey of overall leader. Omega Pharma – Quick-Step’s Rigoberto Uran has been disposed, but he’s still in there with a chance. Read the Race Report here.

Stage winner and new overall leader Nairo Quintana (Movistar): “I knew the route well, though when I came to recon these Giro stages, we couldn’t climb much of the Stelvio because it was covered by snow – we still saw some sections of the downhill as well as the final climb to Val Martello. We climbed the Stelvio together and at the descent, Europcar and Hesjedal started going strong and Izagirre and myself followed their wheels. When we got to the bottom of the descent, we saw the group was split. It wasn’t an attack, by any means, nor did I hear anything about the race getting neutralized, neither from the organizers nor from the team radio. I don’t see the reason why we have such polemics around. Besides, we entered the split, but the biggest gap was actually made into the final climb towards Val Martello.

“I’m still struggling with that flu and some coughing. I’m sure my rivals will attack in the stages remaining, but I think my body is going better and better and I have a strong team by my side. You could see it in the Stelvio, where practically the whole team was into the first group. They also had troubles with allergies and crashes, but are getting over that. I’m sure they will help me with all they can to control the race until the very last day.

“I have proven from the start of the year my second place in last year’s Tour didn’t come by chance. Winning in San Luis, then second in Tirreno, fifth in Catalunya… I keep working to be able to fight for three-week stage races. I came here with the goal of fighting for the podium and for the time being, we got the ‘maglia rosa’, even though some people ruled me out after all the troubles I had in the last few days. This gives me confidence and confirms I can do great things in the present and future. I dedicate this to my team. I owe them everything.”

On the final climb, Wilco Kelderman (Belkin) was part of a group including Rigoberto Urán and Cadel Evans, the two riders leading the race at the beginning of the day. In the final two kilometres, the 23-year-old attacked in order to reduce the gap to the leading group with Quintana, Ryder Hesjedal and Pierre Rolland.

“The final climb suited me really well, and after a number of attacks by others, I felt that I was one of the strongest in our group. I accelerated and distanced the rest easily. Then I just kept going until the line.”

The Gavia and Stelvio passes created two major obstacles due not only to their difficulty, but also due to the weather. Snow and freezing temperatures plagued the riders. “It was a very special day,” said Kelderman. “I’m happy you don’t often experience days like this. The climb of the Gavia was not too bad, but during the descent, it started too snow very heavily. It was terribly cold and my hands felt like lumps. It was dangerous, as well, because I could no longer see through my glasses.

“While climbing the Stelvio, I warmed up again. At the top, I took my time to put on a raincoat as the jury had announced that the downhill would be neutralised. When I made my way back to the main group, however, Quintana, Hesjedal and Rolland were gone. Looking back on that, it’s a bit unfair because I wouldn’t have stopped if I hadn’t heard about the neutralisation. Rolland is now ahead of me in the overall. Normally, I think I could have followed him.”

Kelderman now sits eighth overall. The classification differences are small, however. The gap between Evans (third) and Hesjedal (ninth) is only 55 seconds. “With a little bit of luck you can move up quickly,” Kelderman said. “But everything is still possible. A top ten remains my main goal.”

BMC’s Cadel Evans arrived 4:48 after Quintana and is now 3:21 off the lead and among five riders grouped within 27 seconds of each other in the overall standings. “In the final, I started cramping,” Evans said. “I was limping on one leg all the way home. It is a pity. Normally I am reasonably good in these extreme conditions. But when I can’t see the road, I can’t descend down it. When I have to pedal with one leg, I can’t go uphill. So it was really a day of conservation and survival.” The challenging conditions were evident in the stage results: Only 15 riders finished within 10 minutes of the stage winner and 122 of the 160 riders left in the race conceded 30 minutes or more.

Evans said his battle began right from the start in Ponte di Legno up the snow-lined Gavia pass. “The first climb, I was over-dressed,” he said. “The first descent, I couldn’t see through the snow. The second climb – the Stelvio – I was fine. But on the downhill I started getting cramps. It seems ridiculous today – it is below zero and I am dehydrated. But we were either going uphill or downhill, so the opportunities to drink were limited.” Evans said with five stages remaining – including Friday’s 26.8-km uphill time trial – he is not losing hope of maintaining or improving his position. “We came here with big intentions and we came here to give absolutely our best,” he said. “We have all worked very, very hard. I think we have seen in the last couple of days that anything and everything has happened in this Giro. And anything can still happen. That is what makes the Giro so dramatic.”

In consideration of audio recordings of instructions relayed to Directeurs sportifs during today’s stage, the Directors of the Giro d’Italia would like to clarify that Race Radio provided an inaccurate interpretation of the indications stipulated by the Directors.

As previously stated, the intention was to guarantee rider safety during the first section of the descent (the first 6 hairpins, approximately 1500 m) of the Passo dello Stelvio, where visibility was restricted due to low cloud and fog.

At no point did Race Radio or the Directors of the Giro make reference to the possible neutralisation of any part of the descent.

Giro d’Italia Stage 16 Result:
1. Nairo Alexander Quintana Rojas (Col) Movistar in 4:42:35
2. Ryder Hesjedal (Can) Garmin-Sharp at 0:08
3. Pierre Rolland (Fra) Europcar at 1:13
4. Wilco Kelderman (Ned) Belkin at 3:32
5. Domenico Pozzovivo (Ita) Ag2r-La Mondiale at 3:37
6. Fabio Aru (Ita) Astana at 3:40
7. Rafal Majka (Pol) Tinkoff-Saxo at 4:08
8. Sebastian Henao Gomez (Col) Sky at 4:11
9. Rigoberto Uran Uran (Col) Omega Pharma – Quick-Step
10. Cadel Evans (Aus) BMC at 4:48.

Giro d’Italia Overall After Stage 16:
1. Nairo Alexander Quintana Rojas (Col) Movistar in 68:11:44
2. Rigoberto Uran Uran (Col) Omega Pharma – Quick-Step at 1:41
3. Cadel Evans (Aus) BMC at 3:21
4. Pierre Rolland (Fra) Europcar at 3:26
5. Rafal Majka (Pol) Tinkoff-Saxo at 3:28
6. Fabio Aru (Ita) Astana at 3:34
7. Domenico Pozzovivo (Ita) Ag2r-La Mondiale at 3:49
8. Wilco Kelderman (Ned) Belkin at 4:06
9. Ryder Hesjedal (Can) Garmin-Sharp at 4:16
10. Robert Kiserlovski (Cro) Trek at 8:02.

Stage 16:

After the very fast first hour of Stage 17, the break of the day managed to slip off the front and as the peloton had decided to take it easy the lead ended up at 15 minutes. The group of 26 riders were: Enrico Gasparotto (Astana), Matteo Montaguti (Ag2r-La Mondiale), Stefano Pirazzi, Nicola Boem & Marco Canola (Bardiani-CFS), Jos Van Emden (Belkin), Daniel Oss (BMC), Oscar Gatto (Cannondale), Johan Le Bon & Jussi Viekkanen (FDJ.fr), Damiano Cunego & Mattio Bono (Lampre-Merida), Lars Bak & Tim Wellens (Lotto Belisol), Igor Anton (Movistar), Thomas De Gendt & Serge Pauwels (Omega Pharma – Quick-Step), Davide Malacarne (Europcar), Simon Geschke (Giant-Shimano), Alberto Losada & Eduard Vorganov (Katusha), Philip Deignan (Sky), Evgeni Petrov & Jay McCarthy (Tinkoff-Saxo) and Fabio Felline (Trek).

They stuck together until 30 K’s to go and then Thomas De Gendt went for a solo over the last climb of the day. He was first caught by Stefano Pirazzi and then Matteo Montaguti, Jay McCarthy and Tim Wellens. They rode hard together maintaining a lead of around 20 seconds on the chasers who were too busy attacking each other to manage a proper chase. Just before the last kilometre Pirazzi attacked as the others looked behind, he buried himself to hold a lead of a few metres to the line. He had enough time to throw both arms in the air and give a rude sign after the line before bursting into tears. Read the Race Report here.

Stage winner Stefano Pirazzi (Bardiani-CSF). How it happened: “In the first hour, it was very fast and intense. There were attacks on the climbs, and that’s how I got into the breakaway. In the closing kilometres there were five of us. On paper I was the slowest, but after many hours of riding at high speed, the others lacked their usual finishing speed. De Gendt frightened me more than the others. When he goes, it’s difficult to bring him back. When he attacked, I spoke to my team-mate [Nicola Boem] and told him to try to bring him back, and then I tried to save as much energy as possible for the finish. I attacked with 2.5 km to go, but they chased me down. I attacked again 1.2 km from the line, and stayed away. I chose the right moment.”

First pro win: “It had become a five-year obsession. I always knew a win would come, and I was sick of the criticism: Pirazzi gets it wrong; Pirazzi’s attack comes to nothing. Everyone has his way of riding. I’ve always tried to put on a show. I turned pro very young and I had to learn the ropes. Winning today was very important for me, and, in my emotion, I made a gesture on the finish line. I regret it now and I would like to apologise.”

The escape artist: “Last year I was on the attack a lot to win the Maglia Azzurra, but this year the goal was to win a stage. I’ve only joined two breakaways in this Giro, and today went well for me and I’ve done it. I’ve had a good Giro so far, and there is still a mountain time trial to come, which I’ll try to rider well.”

Overall leader Nairo Quintana (Movistar): “It was a relatively calm day. The first two hours were really fast because everyone knew we would be letting a big break go away, but once the escape was made, the finale was really calm thanks to my team, who controlled the pace all day. Now it’s time for those final three mountain stages, more suited to me. I hope to fulfil the expectations and respond to what it’s asked from a race leader. Attacking? The main goal is defending ourselves, and if the chance turns up, trying to increase the gaps, but for the time being, the goal is defending this result.”

“I think I’ve proven my real quality, not only yesterday: in Oropa, I was the best of the GC favourites despite being ill; in Montecampione, only Aru could beat me… My rivals will surely be willing to attack and of course, we can see some alliances we must pay attention to. But I really trust my team. We are still all the nine of us on course, and after all troubles we went through, we’re feeling great now.”

Second on the stage Tim Wellens (Lotto Belisol): “It was a hard race from the start, Adam Hansen tried to get away. Eventually a large group could take off. Oss and De Gendt made the first move, Lars and I could join. Because almost all teams had a man in the break we were sure we would get lots of space. We weren’t riding very fast and still we kept gaining time on the peloton, so we soon knew we would battle for the stage win. To win the mountain jersey luck will have to be on my side, but I thought it would be crazy not to take those points for the mountain classification. So I made sure to grab the three points on the first two climbs. When Thomas De Gendt attacked I rode around tenth position, too far to react. The last climb was very steep and because of the rain very slippery, that’s why you had to stay in the saddle. Also the descent was slippery, some riders of our group crashed. In that descent I joined De Gendt and Pirazzi together with two others. I was behind Pirazzi when he attacked just before entering the final kilometre. I hesitated to jump with him. I took a chance and hoped someone else would close the gap. When you don’t win, you always have to be disappointed, but with two second places I can’t complain. Maybe I’ll get in a breakaway again tomorrow.”

Our young Jay McCarthy (Tinkoff-Saxo) did a great sprint to the line and finished third. “It took a while for the right breakaway to go but when it finally did, they soon disappeared in the distance and we were in a great position with both Evgeny and Jay up front. After De Gendt had launched his attack, we knew we had to bridge and Jay made it perfectly to the front and he did a splendid finale. He’s still very young and this is absolutely a great result for him. In the pack, we gathered around Rafal to protect him on the slippery surface as it began to rain towards the end of the stage. Now, it’s to do the mountain time trial and there’s not much else to do but to ride as hard as we can and hope for the best,” said DS, Lars Michaelsen after the stage.

Animator of the break Thomas De Gendt (Omega Pharma – Quick-Step): “I had a little problem with the stomach, so I didn’t think I was going to survive the steep climb,” De Gendt said. “I wanted to go before it, maybe with a little group. But when I went, no one came with me. So I just did tempo, like a time trial until the climb. At the top Pirazzi was there. It was OK with five riders, but in the end it’s a game. I tried once at 3 kilometers to go, but they were directly on the wheel. But because I was 10, 15 kilometers alone earlier in the stage, I already used some important energy. It’s a game and Pirazzi won it today. It’s too bad I couldn’t win, but OK, 4th is a nice place after 200 kilometers. It wasn’t 1st, but I did my best today. We knew, after a stage like yesterday, today would have been perfect to attack and maybe win out of a breakaway. I definitely tried.”

BMC’s Daniel Oss was part of the big escape group, he attacked several times but could not make the decisive selection of five riders who made their move on the last of three categorized climb. “It was two hours before the breakaway went, so it was already a pretty hard day,” Oss said. “The final was really crazy. A lot of others had two teammates in the break but I did my best.” Runner-up in a breakaway last year on the Giro’s 11th stage, Oss said he did not give up hope of chasing down the five. “I believed until one kilometre because the gap was so close – only a few seconds,” he said. “All the way from the last climb, I tried to move and keep the chase going and close the gap.”

Jos van Emden already knew before the start of the Giro d’Italia that a breakaway would stand a good chance in today’s 17th stage. The Belkin rider gave everything he had to get in the attack of the day and succeeded. However, after 208 kilometres between Sarnonico and Vittorio Veneto, the Dutchman finished ‘only’ 14th. “And that’s a bit of a disappointment,” said Van Emden. “I had marked this day with red in my calendar. Of course, it’s fun to be in a break in a grand tour, I had never experienced that before, but I really wanted to fight for the victory and unfortunately, that didn’t work out.”

Van Emden began the escape together with Omega Pharma – Quick-Step’s Thomas De Gendt. It wasn’t an easy task as the peloton dashed through the first hundred kilometres in just two hours. “But soon I felt I recovered well from yesterday’s hard ride. Unfortunately, 23 other riders joined us later on. That made it a very different race. “I turned my focus to the final climb. I wanted to be with best on the top so that I could get in the mix for the win. Unfortunately, five men attacked on the climb and stayed clear. I still tried to jump and attacked with everything I had, but the others marked my attacks.”

The 29-year-old Van Emden had a strong classics campaign and proved today that he is still going well. “And that’s very nice to experience,” said the 29-year old rider. “Last spring, I rode harder than I ever did and now, things are going fine as well. I don’t have to save energy in order to reach the finish. Last year, I made a major step and this year, it seems like I’m making another one. Apparently it’s true that these are a bike rider’s strongest years.”

There was no change in the overall.

Giro d’Italia Stage 17 Result:
1. Stefano Pirazzi (Ita) Bardiani-CSF in 4:38:11
2. Tim Wellens (Bel) Lotto Belisol
3. Jay Mccarthy (Aus) Tinkoff-Saxo
4. Thomas De Gendt (Bel) Omega Pharma – Quick-Step
5. Matteo Montaguti (Ita) Ag2r-La Mondiale
6. Jussi Veikkanen (Fin) FDJ.fr at 0:28
7. Simon Geschke (Ger) Giant-Shimano
8. Fabio Felline (Ita) Trek
9. Marco Canola (Ita) Bardiani-CSF
10. Serge Pauwels (Bel) Omega Pharma – Quick-Step.

Giro d’Italia Overall After Stage 17:
1. Nairo Alexander Quintana Rojas (Col) Movistar in 73:05:31
2. Rigoberto Uran Uran (Col) Omega Pharma – Quick-Step at 1:41
3. Cadel Evans (Aus) BMC at 3:21
4. Pierre Rolland (Fra) Europcar at 3:26
5. Rafal Majka (Pol) Tinkoff-Saxo at 3:28
6. Fabio Aru (Ita) Astana at 3:34
7. Domenico Pozzovivo (Ita) Ag2r-La Mondiale at 3:49
8. Wilco Kelderman (Ned) Belkin at 4:06
9. Ryder Hesjedal (Can) Garmin-Sharp at 4:16
10. Robert Kiserlovski (Cro) Trek at 8:02.

Stage 17:

Bayern Rundfahrt 2014
Wet and cold weather greeted the peloton in Germany for Stage 1 of the Bayern Rundfahrt on Wednesday. A break of three; Jan-Niklas Droste (Heizomat), Julian Kern (Ag2r-La Mondiale) and Domenic Weinstein (Rad-Net Rose) animated most of the stage and had over 6 minutes lead st one point. In the end it came down to a bunch sprint where IAM Cycling’s Heinrich Haussler got the better of Yauheni Hutarovich (Ag2r-La Mondiale) and Steele Von Hoff (Garmin-Sharp) at the line. The race ends on Sunday.

Bayern Rundfahrt Stage 1 Result:
1. Heinrich Haussler (Aus) IAM Cycling in 5:11:38
2. Yauheni Hutarovich (Blr) Ag2r-La Mondiale
3. Steele Von Hoff (Aus) Garmin-Sharp
4. Sam Bennett (Irl) Netapp-Endura
5. Roger Kluge (Ger) IAM Cycling
6. Nikias Arndt (Ger) Giant-Shimano
7. Alexander Krieger (Ger) Team Stuttgart
8. Luke Rowe (GB) Sky
9. Aleksei Tsatevich (Rus) Katusha
10. Willi Willwohl (Ger) LKT Team Brandenburg.

Bayern Rundfahrt Overall After Stage 1:
1. Heinrich Haussler (Aus) IAM Cycling in 5:11:28
2. Jan-Niklas Droste (Ger) Heizomat at 0:01
3. Yauheni Hutarovich (Blr) Ag2r-La Mondiale at 0:04
4. Steele Von Hoff (Aus) Garmin-Sharp 0:00:06
5. Arthur Vichot (Fra) FDJ.fr at 0:09
6. Sam Bennett (Irl) Netapp-Endura at 0:10
7. Roger Kluge (Ger) IAM Cycling
8. Nikias Arndt (Ger) Giant-Shimano
9. Alexander Krieger (Ger) Team Stuttgart
10. Luke Rowe (GB) Sky.

Stage 1:

Baloise Belgium Tour 2014
Omega Pharma – Quick-Step’s Tom Boonen won Stage 1 of the re-named Tour of Belgium from Lochristi to Buggenhout after 173 kilometres. The stage came down to a bunch sprint and the ex World champion got the better of sprint specialist André Greipel (Lotto Belisol) with Theo Bos (Belkin) third. The break of the day escaped after 25 kilometres and Laurens De Vreese (Wanty-Groupe Gobert), Antoine Demoitié (Wallonie-Bruxelles) and Pieter Vanspeybrouck (Topsport-Vlaanderen) built up a lead of 5:30 after 50 kilometres, from then on the sprinters teams of OPQS, Lotto Belisol, Belkin and Giant-Shimano pulled them back. Philippe Gilbert (BMC) put in a solo attack 25 kilometres out and caught the three up front, but with 15 to go the race was all together for the big guys to fight it out.

Stage winner Tom Boonen (Omega Pharma – Quick-Step): “When I came back from AMGEN Tour of California I wasn’t feeling good,” Boonen said. “I was feeling a bit sick and then with the jet lag on top of it, it was a bit rough. It took me some time to get back to where I was before California. I came here with a lot of questions about how my legs would feel and how I would compare to the rest. But I must say I’m really happy with this sprint. We started at 12 kilometres to the finish line with the lead-out. We started controlling there because it was a very hectic final. The last four or five kilometres were always getting wilder. We positioned ourselves further back, but then Steegmans led me out perfectly. He took me to the front until 200 meters to go and I started my sprint. At one point I did hold back for a second because I was afraid it was too long. But then I went and I made it to the finish line. So, I’m proud to finish off the work of the guys today and I am happy with my condition. As for the next days and the GC leadership of the team, if you look at what Tony Martin did the last two years I think it’s pretty clear he has the best chance to win the overall for OPQS. If I can make 5th or 6th like last year, I will be very happy. Tomorrow is another chance for me to win the sprint, and I will go full gas to try and repeat the success of today.”

Theo Bos rewarded his Belkin team-mates for their strong lead-out in the opening stage with a third place. “As a team we rode a strong final. I was dropped off perfectly and I felt strong, but Tom was just too fast,” said Bos, who triumphed in the World Ports Classic last weekend. “Of course, I would have liked to do better, but this was all I could today so I have to be satisfied with that.”

Under the red flag of the final kilometre, a small hole opened up between the green and black train and the first few riders. Barry Markus expertly closed the gap, however. “Theo wouldn’t have been in the position to sprint if Barry didn’t do that, so that was great,” said Sports Director Michiel Elijzen. “All the men did what they had to do. Theo ends up losing to Boonen and Greipel, but there’s no shame in that. I can’t be upset as we didn’t do anything wrong in the lead-out.”

Stephen Cummings of the BMC Racing Team broke his left elbow when he crashed with about 20 kilometres to go. Cummings was riding at the back of the peloton and in the process of discarding his bottle when he suddenly lost control and tumbled onto the pavement. BMC Racing Team Doctor Dario Spinelli said X-rays confirmed a small fracture in Cummings’s left elbow. The winner of the Tour Méditerranéen and runner-up at the Dubai Tour also has a contusion to his left hip, Spinelli said. Minutes before Cummings’s crash, teammate Philippe Gilbert had bridged to a three-man breakaway that had led by three-and-a-half minutes. “It was a nervous and fast race and on the local lap it was dangerous,” Gilbert said. “I wanted to anticipate with my attack and asked Thor Hushovd, as he is our sprinter. But Lotto brought us back to the peloton. This attack would not make it to the finish, but the ambition was to gain some seconds.” Cummings was not the only BMC Racing Team rider to go down in the 173.6-km race. Silvan Dillier was involved in a pile-up with seven kilometres left, but was not seriously hurt.

Four more stages to come before the finish on Sunday.

Baloise Belgium Tour Stage 1 Result:
1. Tom Boonen (Bel) Omega Pharma – Quick-Step in 3:51:43
2. André Greipel (Ger) Lotto Belisol
3. Theo Bos (Ned) Belkin
4. Jonas Ahlstrand (Swe) Giant-Shimano
5. Andrea Guardini (Ita) Astana
6. Danilo Napolitano (Ita) Wanty-Groupe Gobert
7. Francesco Chicchi (Ita) Neri Sottoli
8. Michael Van Staeyen (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen-Baloise
9. Sascha Weber (Ger) Veranclassic-Doltcini
10. Gert Steegmans (Bel) Omega Pharma – Quick-Step.

Baloise Belgium Tour Overall After Stage 1:
1. Tom Boonen (Bel) Omega Pharma – Quick-Step in 3:51:33
2. André Greipel (Ger) Lotto Belisol at 0:04
3. Theo Bos (Ned) Belkin at 0:06
4. Niki Terpstra (Ned) Omega Pharma – Quick-Step at 0:07
5. Greg Van Avermaet (Bel) BMC at 0:08
6. Jan Bakelants (Bel) Omega Pharma – Quick-Step at 0:09
7. Jonas Ahlstrand (Swe) Giant-Shimano at 0:10
8. Andrea Guardini (Ita) Astana Pro Team
9. Danilo Napolitano (Ita) Wanty-Groupe Gobert
10. Francesco Chicchi (Ita) Neri Sottoli.

Stage 1:

USA Men’s Road Race Championships 2014
Team SmartStop rider Eric Marcotte took the US National road race championship title on Monday at the end of the 167 kilometre race in Chattanooga. The break of the day went on the second of the four short laps and stayed clear on the four longer circuits that took in the climb of Lookout Mountain. Brad Huff (Optum) started the move, he was joined by Ben King (Garmin-Shimano), Chris Jones & Brad White (UnitedHealthcare), Tyler Wren (Jamis Hagens Berman), Sam Bassetti & Jim Stemper (5 Hour Energy), Eric Young (Optum), Julian Kyer & Eric Marcotte (SmartStop), and Kevin Gottlieb (Airgas). On the final lap King attacked and Jones, Stemper and Kyer went after him, the bunch was just over a minute behind. On the smaller finishing laps Marcotte jumped across to be joined by White, Wren and Alex Howes (Garmin-Sharp), but King was dropped. A chase group of a group of: Scott Zwizanski (Optum), Matthew Busche (Trek) Jacob Rathe (Jelly Belly), Travis McCabe (SmartStop) and Carson Miller (Jamis) and King eventually caught them and after many attacks on the last laps Marcotte led-out his team mate McCabe, but was too fast and took the win. Howes was third.

Howes was the only professional on the podium, Marcotte is a full time chiropractor and would be back at work the next day with a full list of patients.

USA Men’s Road Race Championships Result:
1. Eric Marcotte (Team SmartStop) in 4:17:59
2. Travis McCabe (Team SmartStop)
3. Alex Howes (Garmin-Sharp)
4. Chris Jones (UnitedHealthcare)
5. Julian Kyer (Team SmartStop)
6. James Stemper (5-hour Energy)
7. Jacob Rathe (Jelly Belly p/b Maxxis)
8. Scott Zwizanski (Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies )
9. Tyler Wren (Jamis Hagens Berman) at 0:03
10. Matthew Busche (Trek) at 0:07.

2014 US National Champion Eric Marcotte:

Phinney Breaks Leg In Crash At Nationals
Press Release: BMC Racing Team’s Taylor Phinney broke his left lower leg in two places and injured his knee after crashing on the descent of Lookout Mountain Monday at the USA Cycling professional road championships.

Phinney crashed on a left-hand turn approximately 43 kilometers into the 165.5-km race. BMC Racing Team Chief Medical Officer Dr. Max Testa said Phinney was undergoing surgery Monday night at a Chattanooga hospital for injuries that included a tib-fib fracture of his left lower leg, and an injury to the same knee. On Saturday, Phinney won his second national time trial championship. He had planned to debut the stars-and-stripes jersey at the Critérium du Dauphiné next month and was aiming to be a part of the BMC Racing Team’s squad for the Tour de France in July.

Phinney Crash Caused by Race Motorbike?
It appears that a race motorbike had taken the bend at too high a speed and had to cut the corner which caused Taylor Phinney to swerve and crash. Phinney slid underneath a road side guard rail where his leg hit the support pole. The impact broke Phinney’s lower leg in two places, causing him a lot of pain and also loss of blood.

Henao Back Soon?
According to the Sky team Sergio Henao might be back in the peloton in the Tour de Suisse or the Critérium du Dauphiné if he comes through sea level tests after being back in Colombia. Henao had shown anomalies in a blood test in October when he was in Colombia and was sent back thereafter the Tour of Oman for more tests. The team will receive the final go ahead next week and Henao could be in the Dauphiné starting on June the 8th or Suisse on June the 11th.

Uran Makes Colombian History
The pink jersey is now on the shoulders of a different Colombian (Nairo Quintana), but Rigoberto Uran was the first and a big hero in his home country.
Here is Uran on Colombian TV:


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